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Does Linden over-value Jeremiah while trading with the Harro

 
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Mega Fauna Blitzkrieg
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 6:01 pm    Post subject: Does Linden over-value Jeremiah while trading with the Harro Reply with quote

In a normal book series I would dismiss this as a plot device, one of those situations where you ask the question and the reply is 'because if <character
> did that -obviously logical thing- it would be a very boring movie.' but with this series, and his other writings, I feel like I can actually understand a characters motivations even when they don't write it out on the page.

So my question is something like this, do you think Linden agrees to the terrible trade of both the staff of law and the white gold, for a vague and exploitable promise of rescuing Jeremiah, for an out-of-character reason, that the series needs to do this to progress?

Or an in-character reason that her love for Jeremiah just horribly clouds her judgement to the point where getting him back is so important she trades those two important items for him, and also her worry for him is so great that she doesn't even ATTEMPT to negotiate the terms of their deal, maybe for fear that he will just call it off and Jeremiah will be lost forever if she pushes her luck?

Because as any detached and logical person who is familiar with a monkey's paw can tell you, her deal was awful. IIRC all she gets is the promise to take her to her son, and take them all away afterwords. He doesn't promise not to wait 10 minutes and steal Jeremiah from the now powerless group, or free Jeremiah(probably not in his power), or...well, you get the point.

I understand the concept of a parent doing anything for their child, so I guess this is actually as much a question about the author's motivation as the character's.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love these kinds of questions, as you may notice if you look at my "Ignorance ..." thread in this forum, or my "Why Does Linden Need the Staff?" in the Runes forum. I think I even have one in the 1st/2nd Chrons forum about Covenant's beard.

In this instance, I think the answer is both. I don't see a problem w/Linden's decision from a character perspective. But SRD did have to have some massive obstacle to this crucial goal, to balance out the crisis of achieving it, otherwise it's too easy. The fact that it's not a very good deal, and she had to take a leap of faith to do it, only makes this obstacle more difficult and costly, thus balancing out the benefit even more. (Donaldson is like Esmer in this balancing act, I've just realized. Laughing *He* can't give Linden too much aid without simultaneously making it hard on her.)

And even when Jer is retrieved, he's still not "back." (The same with Covenant, actually.) So the crisis isn't over, even after it seems so at first. I think Donaldson "earns it," in both cases.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I fall in line with Z on this for the most part [heh...and Esmer is like SRD? funny, man. I can see it. Laughing ]

In addition, though....I think Linden feels like she's covering her bets? Guarding her back? Setting her affairs in order? by getting TC on the stage.
HE's the headliner...she's the warm-up act. [she's wrong, of course, but it is part of her thing.]
Heh...and that's actually a dual-purpose thing, too.
Cuz WE need TC back at it, too. [as well as to not see Linden as a waste...which some folk do, anyway].

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is Linden not a popular character? I think I may like her in the third series more than Covenant in the first three books. Largely because she is less of a headliner, easier to understand and relate to. I recall not liking her in 4-6, but I am not sure why? Maybe she was more annoying before she dealt with some of her bigger issues.

I need to be posting less and re-reading the series more.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mega Fauna Blitzkrieg wrote:
Is Linden not a popular character? I think I may like her in the third series more than Covenant in the first three books. Largely because she is less of a headliner, easier to understand and relate to. I recall not liking her in 4-6, but I am not sure why? Maybe she was more annoying before she dealt with some of her bigger issues.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe buyer's remorse?

"Hey! I bought this stick and some jewelry and I all I got was a broken boyfriend and a world-ending apocalypse!"
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rdhopeca wrote:
Mega Fauna Blitzkrieg wrote:
Is Linden not a popular character? I think I may like her in the third series more than Covenant in the first three books. Largely because she is less of a headliner, easier to understand and relate to. I recall not liking her in 4-6, but I am not sure why? Maybe she was more annoying before she dealt with some of her bigger issues.


Ruh roh!!!!

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In the meantime, search for THOOLAH and you'll find much discussion on this very topic.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 5:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recently reread the beginning of ROTE. Shortly before everyone gets shot and translated into the Land Roger offers Linden an exchange. Jeremiah back for her ring and (severed) hand or something similar.

Linden refuses to negotiate and as a result everyone gets shot to death in that world and Jeremiah is taken from her and goes through all the tortures we know of.

Maybe when Linden agrees to the Harrow's deal she's trying to atone for her earlier refusal to negotiate.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought Donaldson went to great -- nay, inordinate -- nay, extraordinary - lengths to explain why Linden decided to concede to the Harrow. AATE, Part 1, Chapter 2, in particular.

IMHO, it's entirely in character, and with completely clear judgement. It arises from the complete and utter exhaustion of every other possibility, and the self-judgement of her own failure persuing every other possibility, and her hard-won belief that there is no hope left, none at all.

I have spoken before about my opinion that what you think about Linden going into this episode strongly colors how you view what Linden did during this episode. With another perspective, it can be seen in a completely different light.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 3:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't mean to suggest it was out of character, really what I meant was more...

I am amazed he did something that is such a generic staple of jrpgs and corny movies, but I feel like it actually is appropriate, sort of.

I don't know if he is the best writer in history, or I am the worst and most jaded human being in history, but I don't actually roll my eyes or blame Linden when she makes that terrible trade that the hero always makes with the villain. I actually feel like I understand her motivation, beyond the easy write-off of 'a parent's love'.

The out of character part I was wondering about was using such an overdone plot device, which is a clear sign of lazy writing usually, but in this case it doesn't feel like that to me. Am I biased by my long term love of the author or do people share that feeling?

Now that I say that out loud it sounds a little childish, Donaldson can use that device but nobody else can! Because he did it with style? Or because I am one lord Mhoram tattoo away from running off to Utah or whatever, and joining a lords gang?
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Keep in mind her other motivation - she doesn't want the responsibility. Linden is a worse coward than Covenant was in the first series. She spends the first half of FR holding onto a false hope that fake Covenant isn't evil and then the second half of FR holding onto the false hope that her selfish and cowardly desire to resurrect Covenant will let her pass the buck to him and solve all her problems.

When she realizes Covenant's resurrection isn't the answer to all her problems, she willingly passes the buck to the Harrow, because he's the last one willing to take the responsibility off her shoulders.

I think if Linden was presented the following two choices, she would choose the one that proves she is a despicable person:

1. She gets one day with Jeremiah and then the entire world ends.
2. She saves the world and Jeremiah goes on to live a happy life but she never sees him again.

Basically, Linden's love for Jeremiah is the way she validates herself, she isn't really concerned with Jeremiah.
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